Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10 November Writing Contests - No Entry Fee

I am a fan of free writing contests:

1) Having a deadline forces you to finish your manuscript,

2) If you win, you can call yourself an "award-winning author" which is great for your pub cred. (That's like street cred - without the tattoos.)

3) And if the contest is free, what have you got to lose?

The Fountain 100th Issue Essay Contest

Deadline: November 30, 2014

You and Your 100-Year-Old Self

The Fountain invites you celebrate their 100th issue by writing an essay to yourself on your 100th birthday. What would you say to yourself at that age? What would your 100-year-old self tell you back? Would it be a conversation of praise and/or regret? Perhaps praise for the achievements in your career, but regrets about a lost family? Or warnings about the mistakes you made in your projected future or in your past; pitfalls you happened to be dragged into, temptations you could not resist; or celebrations for the good character you were able to display and sustain over a life; a precious life wasted or a life lived as it was meant to be.

• Contest open to all writers worldwide
• Essay word count must be between 1,500 and 2,500 words
• Essays must be submitted through the essay contest page at
• Cash prizes:

1st Place - $1,500
2nd Place - $750
3rd Place - $300
Two Honorable Mentions - $200 each

Creative Loafing's 2015 Fiction Contest “Crush”

Deadline: November 3, 2104

Submit a manuscript of no more than 3,000 words. All works of fiction must in some way incorporate “Crush” — as a theme, a metaphor, or some good ol' fashioned puppy love. Be creative, take risks, and send us your best work. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, feel free to write drunk and edit sober. Either way, the word count is strictly enforced.

1st place, $500

2nd place, $250

3rd place, $100

Deadline is Mon., Nov. 3, 5 p.m.

Winners will be published in Creative Loafing and honored at an awards ceremony.

Entry form and rules click HERE.


The Culture Trip Award

Deadline: November 30, 2014

"We are offering a $3,000 prize for the entrant whose article attains the highest readership within 3 months of publication. We will also provide every competitor with detailed information on the readership his/her article attracted."

The Prize

• USD $3,000 for the most-read article

• USD $2,000 for the second most-read article

• USD $1,000 for the third most-read article

• Honourable mentions on social media for the 10 most-read articles


• First or second degree students within final year of degree program; or students who graduated since May 2013

• Interest in a career in art, culture, food, travel sector

Submission Process:

• Send an email to asap and no later than November 30, 2014, with 'Trial article - topic request' in the subject line, to receive your allocated title for an initial trial article

• Receive your trial article topic within 5 working days

• Submit your trial article no later than December 30, 2014

We will judge the trial articles on quality of writing, structure, research, readability. If successful, you will be invited to submit your competition article(s) asap and no later than January 15, 2015. You can choose your competition article(s) topic(s) as long as it is within The Culture Trip's remit and it pertains to one or more countries. If preferred, The Culture Trip can set you a topic.

We aim to edit and publish successful trial articles (between December 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015) and suitable competition articles (between February 15 and April 15, 2015).

Competition entries will be published between February 15, 2015 and April 15, 2015

Award Ceremony and Press:

• September 30, 2015, London. Flights/transportation and accommodation covered by The Culture Trip (for the three winners)

Writing Guidelines:

For more information on style, formatting and length, please refer to published articles, as well as The Culture Trip’s writing guide:

The Vermont Writers' Prize

Deadline: November 1, 2014

The Vermont Writer's Prize is sponsored by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Magazine, is open to Vermont writers, including seasonal residents and students enrolled in Vermont colleges.

Genres: Short stories, poetry, plays, or essays on the subject of Vermont.

Prize: $1500 and publication.

Read details here.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing

Deadline: November 5, 2014

Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada between July 9, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Self-published books are not eligible.

Genre: A book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life.

Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500.

Read details here.

William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers

Deadline: November 15, 2014

Restrictions: Writers must not have published a book, short story, or dramatic work in the mystery field, either in print, electronic, or audio form.

Genre: Mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type - i.e., “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex.

Prize: Each grant may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers' conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award (no later than May 2016). In the case of nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. Each grant currently includes a $1,500 award plus a comprehensive registration for the following year's convention and two nights' lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals.

Read details here.


Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize 

Deadline: November 15th, 2014

This prize is sponsored by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival.

Genre: Non-fiction essay between 4 to 10 pages, set in Brooklyn about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters.. (Up to 2500 words).

Read details here.


The Caregiver Story Contest 

Deadline: November, 30, 2014

This contest is held by Shield HealthCare. Their annual caregiver story contest is on “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?”

Genre: Nonfiction, inspirational.

Prize: Top 3 Story Winner Prizes: $500 American Express Gift Card, One-year subscription to Today's Caregiver Magazine.

Entry form and details here.


IV Edition of the International Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: November 23rd. 2014

"Museum of Words"

The slogan of this contest edition will be, Mandela: Words and Concord. The rules of the competition are as follows:

Writers from any country may enter their microfiction into the competition.

Submitted stories must be original creations; writers are free to cover any subject.

Writers may only enter a maximum of two stories. Stories may be written in the following languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic or Spanish.

A first prize of $20,000 will be awarded to the winning story. The three remaining finalist stories in the remaining language categories will receive a $2000 runner up prize.

Stories must not exceed 100 words. Entries must be sent exclusively by filling in the entry form that can be found on the foundation website: or All stories entered must be original, unpublished in all means (paper, electronic publications, network...) and have not been awarded in any other contest. Those who do not meet this condition will forfeit the entry.

The author certifies that the story sent is of his own authorship.

The competition will end on November 23rd, 2014 GMT+1, on the International Day of the Word as Bond of Humankind.

The finalists will be judged by a selected jury. The list of finalist’s titles will be published on the website of the César Egido Serrano Foundation.

The César Egido Serrano Foundation reserves the right to publish the finalist’s stories.

The decision of the jury is final.

Entry in this contest implies the total acceptance of their rules.

Texts failing to comply with any of the rules will be disqualified.

2015 Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award

Deadline: Nov. 17, 2014

Also see: 2015 Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award for women authors living in Wyoming
The Neltje Blanchan Award, $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world.

This award is designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers. Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and script writers who have published no more than one book in each genre and who are not students or faculty members are invited to apply by submitting manuscripts and an entry form by the deadline.

Guidelines for the 2014 Blanchan and Doubleday writing awards


You may enter if you meet the following requirements:

*You must not be a full-time college student or full-time college faculty.

* You must be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of Wyoming, living in the state for at least ten months of the year, since July 1, 2013.

* To receive an award, you must remain a Wyoming resident until Dec. 31, 2015, living in the state for at least ten months of the year.

*You must not have received a Blanchan or Doubleday award in the last four years. You may apply for these awards if you received a 2013 (or previous year) creative writing fellowship.

* You may not have received a 2015 Arts Council creative writing fellowship.

* You may enter if you have never published a book, if you’ve published only one full-length book of fiction, poetry or nonfiction, or if you have published no more than one book of poetry, one of fiction, and one of nonfiction (self-publication excluded).

Manuscript guidelines

* Submit work in one genre only (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or script).

* Writing may have been previously published.

* Manuscript must be consecutively page-numbered. Include title of work and page numbers on each page.

* Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

* If you submit more than the allowed page limits (see below), extra pages will be removed; you will not be notified.

* If novel or play/film synopses are part of the manuscript (this is often helpful to the juror), include them in the total page number count.

Length requirements:

* Poetry, maximum length: 10 pages. Type single-spaced, with no more than one poem per page.

* Fiction and creative nonfiction, maximum length: 25 pages. Type double-spaced.

* Drama and screenplays, maximum length: 25 pages. Must be typed and presented in the standard, industry-accepted format for the type of script submitted.

Submission procedures:

* You may enter each competition once only, by Nov. 17, 2014.

After you submit your application:

* Your name and credentials are not available to juror; all manuscripts are identified by number. Juror will not critique individual manuscripts.

* Manuscripts will not be returned.

If you win an award:

* Winners will be notified after Jan. 12, 2015.

* You’ll receive $1,000 (after Jan. 12, 2015). At the discretion of the juror, no award may be given.

* You’ll sign a contract which verifies that you’re eligible to receive this award.

* You must remain a resident of the state through Dec. 31, 2015, living within its borders for at least ten months of the year.

* You’ll need to supply a resume and photograph for publicity, and the Council will ask permission to publish some of your work in its publications.

* You’ll retain the right of publication to the work you produce during the award period.

* You must fill out a final report, due June 1, 2015, which asks questions about how this award helped you and what you accomplished during the year. There are no requirements regarding work you complete during the award period or how you use the funds.

* You will receive an additional stipend to travel to Casper in September 2015 to read your work along with the Doubleday winner and the contest judge at the annual Casper College Literary Conference. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

4 Free Writing Contests for Self-Published Authors

While literary contests are increasingly open to self-published authors, only a few of them have no entry fee. (This is because contests are intended to generate income for their sponsors.)

If you do decide to enter a paid contest, make sure its sponsor is worth putting on your resume. (Joe Blow's novel of the year contest will do nothing for your career.)

The Book Designer Monthly Ebook Cover Design Awards

Joel Friedlander's self-publishing site is heavily trafficked, so this contest is well worth entering. There is no restriction on publication date, but the e-books must be published at the time of submission. If you don't yet have a cover for your book, looking at previous winners is great inspiration.

The Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month

"The Guardian is the first national newspaper to champion self-publishing on a regular basis. The prize has been created with Legend Times, an award-winning independent publishing group, with companies including traditional fiction publisher Legend Press and a self-publishing company New Generation Publishing." Restrictions: Open to UK Residents only. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.

Historical Novel Society Indie Award

HNS Indie Award, first offered in 2014, recognizes excellence in indie-published historical novels. Restrictions: English language only. Prize: The winner shall receive £100 or $100 ($100Aus). Deadline: Closing date January 31, 2015. How to enter: Click HERE for complete rules.

You Write On

"For an opportunity to be eligible for the YouWriteOn Book of the Year Awards, simply join at any time for free and upload your opening chapters or short stories. Each month the highest rated books receive feedback from editors for leading publishers, such as Random House and Orion, whose authors include Dan Brown, John Grisham, Bill Bryson and Ian Rankin. These stories enter the YouWriteOn BestSellers Chart and are then eligible for our Book of the Year Awards in the next year."

Click HERE for additional free contests.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Best-Selling Ebooks Fetch Higher Prices

Both Digital Book World and Smashwords have come out with best-selling ebook lists this week. The majority of best-selling ebooks are published by traditional publishers: Random/Penguin, Hachette and Macmillan. But Penelope Ward's self-published book, Stepbrother Dearest, still holds third place.

Although Amazon maintains that keeping ebook prices low increases sales, these two charts seem to indicate that this is only true for self-published books. More than a third of this week’s overall top 25 titles cost more than $10, whereas self-published titles ranged from $2.99 to $4.99. Note that the majority of Smashwords' best-selling titles are romances.

Digital Book World Daily, October 15, 2014
Top 25 Ebook Best-Sellers
Week Ending 10/11/14
Rank*TitleAuthorPublisher Price**Change
(1)Gone Girl: A NovelGillian FlynnPenguin Random House $    6.38
(n/a)The Heroes of Olympus (The Blood of Olympus Book 5)Rick RiordanHachette $    8.99New
(8)The Best of MeNicholas SparksHachette $    5.99+5
(2)Stepbrother DearestPenelope WardSelf-published $    3.99-2
(n/a)Deadline (Virgil Flowers Book 8)John SandfordPenguin Random House $   11.99New
(6)Burn (Michael Bennett Book 7)Michael LedwidgeHachette $    9.99
(3)Outlander: A NovelDiana GabaldonPenguin Random House $    4.99-4
(5)Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious GeneralMartin DugardMacmillan $    9.99-3
(9)The Maze RunnerJames DashnerPenguin Random House $    5.80
10 (4)Gray Mountain: A NovelJohn GrishamPenguin Random House $   11.99-6
11 (15)Dark Places: A NovelGillian FlynnPenguin Random House $    4.99+4
12 (7)Personal: A Jack Reacher NovelLee ChildPenguin Random House $   10.99-5
13 (11)Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy Book 3)Ken FollettPenguin Random House $   11.99-2
14 (10)Captivated by You (Crossfire Book 4)Sylvia DayPenguin Random House $    7.99-4
15 (13)The Complete Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl, Dark Places, Sharp ObjectsGillian FlynnPenguin Random House $   12.79-2
16 (n/a)Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”Lena DunhamPenguin Random House $   10.99New
17 (14)Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander Book 2)Diana GabaldonPenguin Random House $    4.99-3
18 (17)The Fault in Our StarsJohn GreenPenguin Random House $    7.40-1
19 (12)Big Little LiesLiane MoriartyPenguin Random House $   10.99-7
20 (n/a)Leaving Time: A NovelJodi PicoultPenguin Random House $   11.84New
21 (21)A Good MarriageStephen KingSimon & Schuster $    4.74
22 (19)Orphan Train: A NovelChristina Baker KlineHarperCollins $    6.99-3
23 (n/a)Voyager (Outlander Book 3)Diana GabaldonPenguin Random House $    4.99New
24 (23)If I StayGayle FormanPenguin Random House $    4.99-1
25 (18)Mean StreakSandra BrownHachette $   12.99-7
Smashwords Bestseller List

1All For ThisLexi Ryan9781940832951Romance3.99
2Fall To YouLexi Ryan9781940832944Romance3.99
3Filthy Beautiful LiesKendall Ryan9781311020567Romance3.99
4Broken SilenceNatasha Preston9781301920686Romance2.99
5The Seduction 2Roxy Sloane9781311513724Romance2.99
6The Seduction 3Roxy Sloane9781311530370Romance2.99
7Saving AngelBrenda Kennedy9781311884435Romance2.99
8The Seduction 4Roxy Sloane9781310951091Romance2.99
9Betrayed: Book TwoNicky Charles9781311066817Paranormal Romance2.99
10UninhibitedMelody Grace9781311419996Romance3.99
11Mud and GoldShayne Parkinson9781452303802Historical Fiction2.99
12Settling the AccountShayne Parkinson9781452303840Historical Fiction2.99
13Nothing Left to LoseKirsty Moseley9781301339518Romance2.99
14Forever and AlwaysE. L. Todd9781310462849Romance4.99
15A Second ChanceShayne Parkinson9781452303871Historical Fiction2.99
16Drawn 2 - RedemptionLilliana Anderson9781310324413Romance3.99
17Storm ShellsGJ Walker-Smith9780987484567YA Romance3.99
18Second HeartsGJ Walker-Smith9780987484550YA Romance3.99
19Three YearsLili Saint Germain9780992526405Romance2.99
20ElicitRachel Van Dyken9780991587254Romance2.99
21Every Sunset ForeverR.E. Butler9781311041906Paranormal Romance2.99
22Secret NorthGJ Walker-Smith9781311354280YA Romance3.99
23Sweet FallTillie Cole9781310426995Romance2.99
24FableChanda Hahn9781301123575YA Romance3.99
25The Silver SirenChanda Hahn9780996104807YA Romance3.99

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2 New Agents Seeking Writers

Here are two new literary agents actively building their client lists. Patricia Nelson is an agent at Marsal Lyon, one of the most respected literary agencies in the country.

As always read the agency website to see if your book will be a good fit, and be sure to follow all submission instructions. (Click on the name of the agent and agency under the photos for links.)

About Julie: Before joining The Seymour Agency, Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.

What she is seeking: Christian and Inspirational Fiction and Nonfiction, Women’s fiction (contemporary and historical), New Adult, Southern Fiction, Literary Fiction and Young Adult.

How to submit: E-query julie [at] Be sure to include: genre/target audience, word count, contact information, references (conference, recommendation, etc.). No attachments, please. All of The Seymour Agency agents ask that you paste the first five pages of your manuscript into the bottom of your email. “Simultaneous submissions are acceptable for queries and partials. However, we only review complete manuscripts on an exclusive basis.”


About Patricia: Before becoming an agent at the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, she interned at The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency and in the children’s division at Running Press. Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing. Follow Patricia on Twitter at @patricianels.

What she is seeking: Patricia represents adult and young adult fiction, and is actively looking to build her list. On the adult side, she is interested in literary fiction and commercial fiction in the New Adult, women’s fiction, and romance genres. For YA, she is looking for contemporary/realistic fiction as well YA mystery/thriller, horror, magical realism, science fiction and fantasy. She is also interested in finding exciting multicultural and LGBTQ fiction, both YA and adult. In general, Patricia loves stories with complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships – along with writing that makes her feel completely pulled into these characters’ lives and worlds.

How to contact: Please send a query letter by email to: Patricia [at] and write “QUERY” in the subject line of the email. Please note that the agency now accepts electronic submissions only. In all submissions, please include a contact phone number as well as your email address. “If we are interested in your work, we will call or email you. If not, we will respond via email. Our response time is generally 1-4 weeks for queries and 4-8 weeks for sample pages and manuscripts. We welcome unsolicited materials and look forward to reading your work.”

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Number of Self-Published Books Tops 450,000

Credit: Vladimir Melnikov
Bowker, the distributor of ISBNs, has reported a 16.5% increase in new print books in 2013, as well as a significant increase in self-published books to 450,000 - up from last year's total of 391,000. 

The figure of 450,000 may, in fact, be on the low side. Amazon, a huge platform for self-published ebooks, does not require ISBNs. 

What does this explosion in self-published books mean for authors? 

Obviously, more books means more selection and increased competition. But, the ebook world is just beginning to open up in highly populated parts of the globe (e.g. India, China), so there are also more readers. Distribution networks for ebooks are also expanding rapidly.

Self-Published Books Topped 450,000 in 2013

By Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly, Oct 08, 2014

Although it comes with a number of caveats, Bowker's newest report on the number of self-published titles rose again in 2013, increasing 16.5%, to 458,564. The increase was due entirely to the release of new print books which rose 28.8% to 302,622 offsetting a decline in self-published e-books which fell 1.6%, to 155,942.

The totals are based on self-published titles that have an ISBN registered with Bowker as of August 6, 2014 with the year referring to the year of publication provided by the publisher. The report also does not include titles published through Kindle Direct Publishing since books created there do not need an ISBN, and also does not include titles from Nook Press. In addition, it is likely some titles are double counted as self-published authors who do both print and e-books often give different ISBNs to the same title. Beat Barblan, Bowker director of identifier services, explains that the counts are ISBNs, not titles, “and indicate trends rather than absolutes. We’re consistent in the way we calculate this each year, making the reports accurate reflections of trends.”

The report, Barblan continued, shows a self-published market that is maturing into a serious business. He pointed to an 8% increase in the number of ISBNs registered by small publishers--publishers that registered fewer than 10 ISBNs--as evidence of a move by self-publishers to business--owner rather than writer only.

Small publishers registered 46,654 ISBNs in 2013, placing that group fourth among companies that registered ISBNs. The Big Three in 2013 were Amazon’s CreateSpace which registered 186,926 ISBNs last year, followed by Smashwords which registered 85,500 ISBNs and Lulu which had 74,787 ISBNs. The different Author Solutions divisions had 44,574 ISBNs. The CreateSpace figure reflects only print ISBNs, while Smashwords includes only registered e-books.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beggars Can Be Choosers - How to Pick an Agent

Aspiring authors spend a great deal of their time and effort researching agents, writing queries, and perfecting pitches. Often, they are so delighted when an agent - any agent - takes an interest in them, that they tend to say "Yes, a thousand times yes!" before giving the long-term consequences of the union the cold, hard reflection it deserves.

You are not married to your agent. But, if you are not well suited to one another, getting a "divorce" can be tricky, especially if your agent has already sold one of your books. A split-up can involve a custody battle: changing the terms of your contract, lawyers, hard feelings.

And there will be gossip. The publishing industry is more provincial than you might think. Editors love to gossip among themselves about authors, and those editors often become agents, who also do their fair share of gossiping. If you end up divorcing your agent, everyone will know about it.

Guess whose side they will be on?

So, before you leap into the arms of the first agent who is willing to get down on one knee, consider the following:

Does the agent have a good track record with authors? Ask around. Find some authors they have represented (you can even ask the agent for a list), and ask how happy they have been. Go to conferences, talk to writers. Try to get a sense of how the agent interacts with people. Google the agent's name and see what pops up on absolutewrite, a forum where writers talk about their experiences in the publishing world.

Does the agent adore your work? Agents can only sell work that thrills them. Does the agent stand behind your book 100%? Will the agent be willing to spend a couple of years, if that is required, to get a contract? Or will he/she dump you after a few tries?

Does the agent like you? It is important for agents to be professional, but it is equally important for them to take an interest in you. I am not talking about sharing "worst date" stories. You need to feel comfortable enough to be able to ask your agent important questions.

Can you trust your agent? A publishing contract is not the end of the road. Contract negotiations are nerve-fraying experiences. If your agent is curt, or doesn't respond to your questions (particularly if it is your first contract ), or if your agent does not explain things to your satisfaction, you may want to bail out of the relationship before your contract is finalized. (This happens more often than you may think.) Talk to the agent about how he/she handles contract negotiations. And listen to your gut. If you have doubts, there may be a good reason for them.

There are other considerations as well: How many clients does the agent have (too many, and they won't have time for you, too few and they aren't successful); How many publishing houses has the agent worked with (if their publishing contacts are limited to houses that also accept unagented manuscripts, it's not a good sign); What genres has the agent represented (YA fiction is all the rage right now, but if an agent has not represented YA authors before, he or she may not have the contacts you need).

Ideally, you want a long and happy relationship with your agent. If you stand back and ask yourself whether you and your prospective agent are a "good fit" right at the start, you will avoid many problems farther down the road.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Science Fiction Digital Imprints Accepting Manuscripts From Writers

First Snow by taenaron:
There can be no doubt about it, the digital revolution has changed the face of publishing.

Random House, one of the Big 5, is getting on board with its Hydra digital science fiction imprint (better late than never).

HarperCollins has also joined the fray with its Voyager imprint, and Simon & Shuster has launched Simon451 (both of these are now closed to submissions).

Below are four established science fiction publishers accepting eBook manuscripts from authors.

Make sure to read their submission guidelines carefully before you submit.


About: is a short fiction market edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer, and Ellen Datlow, with support and reading from Carl Engle-Laird, Cory Skerry, and Bridget Smith (and occasional others).

What they are looking for: welcomes original speculative fiction short stories and poetry, including SF, fantasy, horror, alternate history, and related genres. They are particularly interested in stories under 12,000 words.

How to submit: Don’t query, just send your story. Submissions should be emailed to (tordotcomsubs)(at)(—the first part spelled out (“tordotcomsubs,” not “tor.comsubs”). They should be in something approximating standard manuscript format and be sent as *.doc (not docx), *.rtf, or plain-text attachments. They should not be sent as text in the body of the email. Read full guidelines HERE.



About: Hydra is the digital science fiction imprint of Random House. 

What they are looking for: They are interested in short content (customarily between 15,000 and 30,000 words) and full-length works (customarily between 40,000 and 60,000 words). Unlike they are open to previously-published manuscripts as long as the submitting author now controls all electronic and print publishing rights. 

How to submit: Submissions are through a form on the website that asks for basic information and a 1500-word excerpt from your book. Expected response time is 2-4 weeks. Publication is subject to execution of a mutually acceptable publishing agreement. The form is here.


Harlequin Digital First

About: Harlequin (now a HarperCollins division) is best known as a romance publisher, They began to branching into digital publications in 2013. Science fiction is new on the Harlequin scene.

What they are looking for: Space opera, sci-fi, and fantasy stories (10,000 words minimum).

How to Submit: Submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:
  • In the body of the email: a brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as any pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name, full mailing address, and any writing credits.
  • As an attachment: the full manuscript saved as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
  • As a second attachment: A 2–5 page synopsis of the book, detailing character development, plot and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, full mailing address, phone number, genre and word count.

Submissions should be sent to:


About: Baen Books was founded in 1983 by science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen (now deceased). Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author. Publishes in digital and print format.

What they are looking for: Science fiction with powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are essential for science fiction submissions. For fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Manuscripts should be at least 100,000 words. 

How to Submit: Send your manuscript by using the submission form at:

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

Your submission must include your name, email address*, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. *[If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service.] Include a plot outline if possible.

Click HERE for more details.